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26 Feb 2004 : Column 549W—continued

Passenger Numbers

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the most recent Passenger in Excess of Capacity figures are for the (a) morning and (b) evening peaks in (i) West Yorkshire, (ii) Greater Manchester, (iii) the West Midlands, (iv) South Yorkshire, (v) Merseyside, (vi) Strathclyde and (vii) London and the South East. [156170]

Mr. McNulty: Passengers In Excess of Capacity (PIXC) is a mechanism applied exclusively in London and the South East and on Edinburgh commuter services across the Forth Bridge. The results of the 2003 counts have not yet been produced. The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) published the results of the 2002 counts in their "On Track" publication in June 2003, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Passenger Transport Executives may apply similar regimes in their areas, but they do not use the same criteria and are not comparable with the SRA PIXC figures.

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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work (a) the Strategic Rail Authority and (b) Network Rail has been engaged in the Eddisbury constituency in the last 18 months, broken down by location; what the costs are of such works, broken down by project; what surveys were commissioned prior to such works being carried out into the extent of damage caused by badgers at or near in-use railway lines; what consultations were undertaken in each relevant local community prior to works being commissioned and carried out on alternative methods of removing badgers from current setts; and what the timescale is for (i) post-audit and (ii) value for money exercises to be carried out on these projects. [155278]

Mr. McNulty: This is an operational matter for Network Rail. I have passed this to Network Rail who will respond directly to the hon. Member.

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to ensure a competitive market for existing railway rolling stock once existing contracts inherited from British Rail have expired. [156174]

Mr. McNulty: The Strategic Rail Authority is charged with securing value for money in rolling stock procurement. As part of that responsibility, it is considering how best to deal with the large number of rolling stock leases which fall due for renewal shortly. Whether more general changes are needed to the present arrangements in this area is among the issues that are being considered as part of the rail review announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 19 January.

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the most recent reliability levels of rail services are for (a) Great Britain and (b) each region; and what policies he is implementing to ensure the achievement of the 99.5 per cent. reliability target. [156168]

Mr. McNulty: The Government requires Train Operating Companies (TOCs) to set themselves reliability targets in their Passengers' Charters. Reliability performance is a measure of trains run/cancelled and does not include punctuality. TOCs publish details of their reliability performance at train stations every four weeks. If reliability falls below the trigger point set out in the Passengers' Charter, season ticket holders can claim a discount on renewal of their ticket. Within this framework, operational plans for avoiding cancellations are a matter for TOCs.

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) measures train performance by the Public Performance Measure (PPM) which combines reliability and punctuality. It is published by train operator in the SRA's quarterly National Rail Trends (NRT). The latest publication covers performance to the year ending 30 September 2003 and is placed in the Library of the House.

Recruitment Advertising

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's expenditure on recruitment advertising was in each of the last three years, broken down by publication; and what

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proportion of such expenditure was (a) to advertise vacant posts and (b) in the form of other general recruitment advertising. [155528]

Mr. McNulty: The Department for Transport has only been in existence since May 2002.

The Department uses the most appropriate publication for recruitment advertising, be it national, regional, trade magazine or website, depending on the nature of the vacancy. To provide a breakdown between publications would be at disproportionate cost.

Below are details of the costs incurred by DfT (Central) for recruitment advertising for vacant posts.

This does not include the Departments Agencies as they have responsibility for their own recruitment below Senior Civil Service. Nor does it include NDPBs. These costs could only be obtained at disproportionate costs.

The Department for Transport has not participated in a general recruitment since May 2002.


Copyright/Trade Marks (Offences)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Solicitor-General how many Crown prosecutions have been made for counterfeiting and copyright theft (a) since the introduction of the Copyright etc. and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002 and (b) in each of the last seven years; and how many prosecutions resulted in convictions. [154955]

The Solicitor-General: The CPS does not hold central records on the numbers of particular offences prosecuted or resulting in conviction. Information at this level of detail could be obtained only by examining individual case files, some of which may be held in CPS offices and some in central archives and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Some files will have been destroyed in accordance with Public Records Act practice.

Offences under this legislation are also prosecuted by other agencies such as Trading Standards, the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

Guantanamo Bay Detainees

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Solicitor-General what consideration was given during the Attorney-General's recent discussions with US officials to proceedings for treason being brought by the Crown Prosecution Service against the British detainees in Guantanamo Bay. [155014]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General has explained to the US Administration the options for the possible prosecution for treason of the British detainees in Guantanamo Bay. As I set out in my reply to the hon. Member dated 5 January 2004, Official Report, column 74W, decisions to prosecute are made independently by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. The

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Attorney-General may be consulted on prosecution decisions. A prosecution will be brought if there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute. If a decision to prosecute is made all relevant charges will be considered in deciding what charge an individual should face.

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Solicitor-General what representations the Attorney-General received from the United States Administration on the treatment that United Kingdom citizens detained in Guantanamo Bay would receive on repatriation to the UK. [155015]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General has had no discussions with the US Administration about the treatment that the British nationals detained in Guantanamo Bay would receive on repatriation to the UK, but there have been discussions on this issue involving other UK Government officials. The Government does not intend to provide details of confidential exchanges between the British and US Governments.

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Solicitor-General what progress has been made in obtaining the repatriation of the British detainees in Guantanamo Bay; and if she will make a statement. [155016]

The Solicitor-General: I refer the hon. Member to the statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 19 February, in which he explained that five of the UK detainees would be returning to the UK in the next few weeks and that the Government continues to discuss with the US the situation of the remaining four. The Government's position remains that the detainees should either be tried in accordance with international standards or they should be returned to the UK.


Access to Work

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many complaints the agency Access to Work has received over delays in processing applications in the latest three years for which data are available; [155598]

Maria Eagle: Access to Work is a programme run by Jobcentre Plus, which helps disabled people to get or keep jobs by contributing towards the extra employment costs that arise because of their disability. It provides practical assistance to help disabled people compete on a more equal basis with their non-disabled colleagues by removing obstacles linked to disability.

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For the last three years, throughout the UK, Access to Work teams have received approximately 60 written complaints specifically about delays in processing applications. Over the same period, there were over 40,000 new applications for help through the programme.

Access to Work is measured against two key performance standards: first, decisions on eligibility for help should be made within 10 days of an application; second, provision of first help to applicant should be within 60 days of an application.

For the year April 2001 to March 2002, 98 per cent. of decisions on help and 87 per cent. of first help to applicants were within standards; for the year 2002–03 97 per cent. of decisions on help and 85 per cent. of first help to applicants were within standards. This is in the context of continuing increases in both numbers helped and programme spend.

For year to date, April 2003 to December 2003, 99 per cent. of decisions on help and 85 per cent. of first help to applicants are within standards.

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